Dictionary / Arabic - Turkish Terminology

RIYÂ – رياء

 

Literally: An acting with dissimulation. Hypocrisy. Dissimulation.

Not acting upon the way which is believed. Performing amal as-sâlih like ibâdah, the service of Islam and Qur’an to display them to the people and being known. Riyâ is labeled as the minor shirk in the Hadith book of Kashf al-Khafâ. It is also called the hidden shirk.

Riyâ is the opposite of ikhlas and the attribute and action of munâfiqs.

 

“Just as the Qur'an severely prohibits the ‘ibâdah of idols, so it forbids the ‘ibâdah of images,  which is a sort of ‘ibâdah of idols.1 Whereas civilization counts the representation of forms as one of its virtues and has attempted to dispute the Qur'an in this matter. But represented forms, whether pictorial or concrete, are either embodied dhulm, or embodied riyâ, or embodied lust; they excite lust and flog man to dhulm, riyâ and licentiousness.” The Words (422)

 

O my nafs who performs riyâ! Do not pride, saying: "I served religion." According to the mystery of, اِنَّ اللّهَ لَيُؤَيِّدُ هذَا الدِّينَ بِالرَّجُلِ الْفَاجِرِ2 since you were not purified (tazkiyyah), you should know yourself to be such a sinful man. Know that your service and ‘ubûdiyyah are the shukr for past ni’mahs, and the duty of your fitrah, and incumbent on you due to your creation and the result of art. And be saved from vanity and riyâ!” The Twenty-Sixth Word/Conclusion

 

“As a consequence of the instruction they have received from shaytans among the jinn, human shaytans want to deceive, by means of the desire for rank and position, the self-sacrificing servants of Hizb Qur'an3 , and to make them give up their sacred service and ma’nawî elevated jihâd. It is as follows:

Within man commonly and in each individual of ahl ad-dunyâ the ambition of fame which is called the love of rank, and to be seen by people in a manner of riyâ and holding a position in the public view which is called vain, dignity and honour are present to a lesser or greater extent. On account of that desire’s sake, the feeling of ambition for fame drives a person to a degreeof even sacrificing his own life. This feeling is exceedingly dangerous for people of the âkhirah. And for ahl ad-dunyâ it is a tribulation, it is also the source of many bad morals and is man's weakest vein. That is, he attracts, draws and ties somebody to himself by gratifying that feeling of his. He also defeats him with it. My greatest fear for my brothers is the possibility that the people of ilhâd will take advantage of this weak vein of theirs. It has caused me much thought. They attracted some unfortunate friends of mine who were insincere and put them in danger in a ma’nawî manner. {Through the idea of: "Our hearts are together with Ustadh, those unfortunates suppose themselves not to be dangerous." Whereas someone who strengthens the current of people of ilhâd and is deceived by their propaganda, and perhaps who is in danger of unknowingly being used as a spy saying: "My heart is pure and loyal to Ustadh's way"resembles the following example: While performing the salâh, someone cannot hold his wind and expels it; and his wudhû is invalidated. When he is told that his salâh is invalid, he replies: "Why should my salâh be invalidated? My heart is pure."}

My brothers and friends in the service of the Qur'an! Say the following to the secret agents of the cunning ahl ad-dunyâ, or the propagandists of the people of dhalâlah, or the students of shaytan, who come from the aspect of the love of rank.

"Firstly, the acceptance of Allah, favour of Ar-Rahmân, and approval of Ar-Rabb are such a rank that the favour and approval of men are equivalent to a particle in comparison with them. If the favour of rahmah is gained that is sufficient. The regard of men is acceptable in respect of its being the reflection and shadow of the favour of rahmah; otherwise, it is not something to be desired. For it is extinguished at the door of the grave and is worth nothing!” "The Twenty-Ninth Letter/The Sixth Section/1th Wile of the Shaytan

 

“Warning: People’s attention is not demanded, rather it is given. If it is given, it is not pleased with. If one is pleased, he loses ikhlas and falls in riyâ. People’s attention as a consequence of the desire for honour and fame is not a reward and a prize, but a reprimand and punishment which is received due to the lack of ikhlas. Yes, people’s attention, honour and fame, which harm ikhlas that is the life of ‘amal as-sâlih, give a minor transitory pleasure as far as the gate of the tomb in return for taking an unpleasant form as the torment of the tomb on the other side of the tomb, hence, it is necessary to not desire people’s attention, but rather to run away and be frightened from it. Let the ears of those who perform ‘ibâdah to fame and those who run after honour and rank, burn!” The Twentieth Flash-The First Cause

 

“Three points will be written about riyâ.

The First: There can be no riyâ in the (acts that are) fardh and wâjib, and in the shaâ’er of Islam, and in following the Sunnah as-Saniyyah, and abandoning the haram. Displaying them in public cannot be considered as riyâ - unless, together with an extremely weak îmân, one has riyâ in His fitrah. In fact, ‘Ulamâ such as Hujjat’ul Islam Imam Ghazali (ra) explains that to openly display the ‘ibâdah that pertains to the shaâ’er of Islam, is much more rewarding than to perform them in private. Although it is much more rewarding to perform nawâfil in private, in relation to the shaâ’er, particularly in this age of bid’ah to reveal the honour of following the Sunnah and openly display the taqwâ in abandoning the haram within such kabâir; far from being riyâ, is more times rewarding and pure than performing them in private.

The second point: Of the reasons which lead people to riyâ,

The first is: Weakness of îmân. Those who do not consider Allah, perform ‘ibâdah to causes, and take up a state of riyâ through self-centredness before (other) people.

Through the powerful lessons of tahqiqî îmân, they receive from the Risale-i Nur, in the point of ‘ubûdiyyah the students of Risale-i Nur attach no importance and significance to causes and people, and so, find no need to perform riyâ on them in their ‘ubûdiyyah in a manner of display.

The second reason: Greed and ambition lead to a state of riyâ as a means of attracting people’s attention through weakness and poverty. The dignity of îmân students of the Risale-i Nur receive from the lessons of the Risale-i Nur, such as frugality, contentment, tawakkul and showing approval of their lot in life, will inshallah prevent them from riyâ and self- centredness for the sake of worldly benefits.

The third reason: Emotions such as ambition for fame, love of rank, the desire to occupy positions, be superior over peers, be seen favourably by people and to have an excessive state of self-centredness through acts of artificiality, and to be in undeserved high ranks through false displays, lead people to riyâ. Since students of the Risale-i Nur transform the ‘Ana’ to ‘Nahnu’4 , that is they abandon the ananiyyah and work on behalf of the ma’nawî collective personality of the Risale-i Nur circle; and they say ‘We’ instead of ‘I’; and the means which save from riyâ such as “fana fish-shaykh”5 , “fana fir-rasûl”6 and killing the nafs al-ammarah used by the people of tarîqah, in this age one of the means is also “fana fil-ikhwan”7 that is, they dissolve their personality in the ma’nawî collective personality of their brothers since they act accordingly, inshallah they will be saved too through this mystery, like the people of haqiqah have been saved from riyâ.

The Third Point: In terms of religious duties, the efforts made to gain the favourable approval of people and the high manners and states required of that station, do not constitute self-centredness and riyâ and should not be considered as such - unless that person uses that duty and makes it follow his ananiyyah.

Yes, while performing the duty as the imam, an imam can openly display and vocalise his tasbîhât, this can in no way be considered riyâ. However, when it is outside his duty, since riyâ may interfere in making others hear the tasbîhât explicitly, it is more rewarding to have it done silently.

In their disseminating religion, their ‘ibâdah in following the Sunnah, and their taqwâ in abandoning the kabâir, true students of the Risale-i Nur are considered to be on duty on behalf of the Qur’an. Insha’allah it will not be riyâ - unless they have entered the Risale-i Nur for some other worldly intention.

More was going to be written, but a state of stoppage has cut it short.” Kastamonu Addendum (202-204)

 

The love of rank and attracting attention to one’s self is a sickness of rûh. It is called the hidden shirk.” Emirdağ Addendum-1 (15)

 

“This is to flatter the ananiyyah and give high status to the nafs al-ammarah through attracting attention to oneself and public acclaim under the veil of renown and honour, driven by the desire for fame which arises from the love of rank. This is a serious sickness of rûh, so too it opens the door to the riyâ and self-centredness called 'the hidden shirk,' and damages ikhlas.” The Flashes ( 220 )

 

1 اِنْ يَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِه۪ٓ اِلآَّ اِنَاثًۚا وَاِنْ يَدْعُونَ اِلاَّ شَيْطَانًا مَر۪يدًۙا (Qur’an, 4:117)

“Instead of Allah, they only invoke females and they invoke none but a rebellious Shaytan”

Those who perform shirk, leave Allah and only offer duâ to females. In their view, the perception of God and forming the idea of ma’bûd, foremost, is the imagining of a female. Therefore, most of the idols were in the shape of females and titled with female names. It is well-known that the Greeks and the other pagans’ idols were mostly female. Therefore, this meaning is essentially sound. But, to understand this, there is no need to exclude the word female اِنَاثًۚا from its real meaning. Since each imagination is a reflection of truth, this state should be considered as a consequence of the attraction to females and it is also substantially true, to study the word female اِنَاثًۚا with its essential meaning, not with the metaphorical meaning, and it also conforms to the rûh of the meaning of the âyah. That is, the rûh of mushrik’s objective of ma’bûd is women. In his consideration, the greatest modal of worship is the worship of women.

In this way, by generalizing the form of extraordinary or imagined beauties, other women are contempt in the face of their imaginations. Although the ugliest woman should be more precious than a beautiful idol, in the hands of the mushriks, those who consider women as their ma’bûd, allow real women to fall from being held precious into common use and drudgery in such a way, let alone being respected, they are deprived of even the simplest human rights.

If you look to the claim, women are everything, but if you look at the fact, women become the most wretched of the toys. This state is such a dhalâlah of the mushriks and such a wile of shaytan that if they love something they mix a conception of a woman in it. They worship the sun, and they picture it to be female; they worship the star, and they picture it to be female; they worship the angels, and they picture them to be female, in this way, by collecting all the pleasure of worship in lust appetites and sacrifice the rights and truths to the imaginations, they oppress the real women in the face of the imagination of women.”  Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır-The Tafsir of The Qur’an - Âyah 4:117

2 (Allah strengthens this religion by means of sinful men)

3 (The party of the Qur'an)

4 (We)

5 (annihilate the self in the shaykh)

6 (annihilate the self in the Prophet)

7 (annihilate the self among the brothers)

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